When I think of Madrid I think of sun, roof top pools and Christiano Ronaldo (obviously) but yesterday my Spanish fantasies were actually ruled by trail runs, cargo climbing, mud and even spear throwing (yes, you heard me) as I took part in the Spartan Sprint Race.
I was invited by Reebok to partake in this 5K obstacle course, who organised a CrossFit workout session with legendary CrossFit champion, Dan Bailey the day before to get us match ready.
As a team we took to the start line. It seemed like fun to begin with (people dressed as Centurions acting as barriers to block us from passing, amused me) but then came a chilly run through a river, a series of tall walls to jump over, muddy hills to run up, ropes to climb, tires to pull, heavy sandbags to carry and barbed wire to crawl under.
For every failed obstacle attempt came the forfeit of energy sapping burpees and after each hurdle was a rocky trail run to the next. It was tough.
The final obstacle was a 20ft wall which you had to pull yourself up with rope. It took me four attempts to get over and at times I didn't think I'd make it. Failing knocked my confidence and I began to feel low but with the motivation from a bellowing man telling me how strong I really was and that "I just needed to believe", I dug deep and finally got to the top, jumped over a wall of flames and crossed the finished line, scratched, bruised but super proud.
As much as it was a test of physical endurance and strength it was also a mental challenge. It's really important to never downplay your achievements in anything so to all the participants, congratulations! You did yourself proud.
To sign up to a Spartan Race near you checkout: http://www.spartanrace.uk/en